Nascar driver Danica Patrick broke down at Lap 30 of 120-lap Nationwide Drive4COPD 300 race Saturday (Feb. 23). “It just died,” Patrick says of her car that lost power going in to Turn 3.
In what Yahoo Sports calls “a mistake of inexperience,” Patrick garaged the car rather than taking it to the pit road. The problem being that the issue could have possibly been fixed in the pit. Instead, by rolling the car to the garage, Danica put herself six laps behind by the time the engineers re-fired her car.
“I was pissed,” says Patrick at finding her rookie mistake could have been what brought her race day to an early end. “A good lesson that if there was a potential fix at some point, you know you just always go down pit lane and get in your pit box and just do everything possible to fix it.”
Patrick is not eligible for a championship in the Nationwide Series, so while she’s upset, the reality is the day is not a huge loss. In fact, she thinks she may have gained a little on her fellow Sprint Cup Series drivers in Sunday’s Daytona 500. She has the best starting spot and thinks her performance at Saturday’s Nationwide race gave other drivers a hint at her “ability to work through traffic and my ability to get to the front.”
This is Danica’s rookie year in Nascar’s Sprint Cup Series. As an Indy Car Series racer, she won Rookie of the Year in 2005. In 2012, Danica finished 10th place in overall points for the Nascar Nationwide Series.